In a report on Friday, Variety noted that Disney CEO Bob Iger has referred to the upcoming platform as “the biggest priority of the company” in 2019. It’s one of a “suite” of planned direct-to-consumer services for Disney.
Disney is in the midst of closing a deal for 21st Century Fox, subject to approval by international regulators, and it’s hoping its cache of exclusive intellectual property will give Netflix a run for its money. Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar titles will undoubtedly be key for Disney’s hopes to lure away fans from streaming competition.
There is a price for this exclusivity. Disney will have to do without roughly $300 million in annual revenue it makes from Netflix for the rights to its programs. But Disney is banking on next year’s film slate to draw consumers to its service, with anticipated titles like Captain Marvel, Dumbo, Toy Story 4, a live-action Lion King remake, Frozen 2, and a new Star Wars movie.
But Disney won’t have nearly as much original content on Netflix, which offers upwards of 700 originally-produced titles. That factor is acknowledged with a lower price for Disney’s streaming service, which will cost less than Netflix’s $8-$14 monthly streaming fee, Iger said.
“We have the luxury of programming this product with programs from those brands or derived from those brands, which obviously creates a demand and gives us the ability to not necessarily be in the volume game, but to be in the quality game,” Iger said in an earnings call earlier this month.
There is no official release date for Disney’s streaming service but Iger has said the platform is slated to launch in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected. An earlier version based on Variety’s report stated Disney’s new streaming service was tentatively called “Disney Play.” Variety has since retracted that detail and Disney confirmed to Fortune that Disney Play is not a tentative name for the streaming service.